If I had to sum up my impressions of the Bionic Woman pilot in a word, it would be “Meh.” Looking at the previews of NBC’s remake of The Bionic Woman I was hardly expecting to get blown away, so I wasn’t too disappointed.
The Bionic Woman looks almost exactly like one of the syndicated action TV shows that packed the schedule back in the mid 90’s before the rise of the five networks. Aside from a few minor CGI effects and the presence of Miguel Ferrer, despite the top network pedigree and undoubtedly huge budget, The Bionic Woman looks like a rerun of some forgotten 90’s syndicated action series. It looks cheap, the cast is bad, the sets are bad, the special effects are lame and the writing is even worse.
Right off the first 5 minutes of The Bionic Woman dumps a ton of useless exposition on us. She has a whiny baby sister. Her father is an activist. Her boyfriend is a professor. She’s pregnant. She works as a bartender. Her baby sister has a court order not to use a computer. And so on and so forth. Do we care? No. But the show is far more interested in drowning us in characterization than showing us anything interesting. It doesn’t help that the lead actress is as charismatic as a bag of wet noodles. But aside from Miguel Ferrer, the cast is no better. The only thing interesting about The Bionic Woman is Katee Sackhoff who shines on screen even when cast as a cliched psycho.
Somewhere along the way in making The Bionic Woman, NBC forgot 3 things
1. The Bionic Woman is an action series. Characterization is cute but it’s the bionics that make her interesting, not her generic relationships. More action, less talk.
2. Get real directors, writers and special effects crew. Journeyman and Chuck both look 10 times better than The Bionic Woman.
3. Dump most of the supporting wolf creek people, keep Miguel Ferrer front and center and focus on more major threats and less soap opera. Right now this looks like The Pretender without any of the coolness.